If you have been in a car accident through no fault of your own, you have the right to file a claim for any losses you have endured. The insurance company will typically offer compensation for the cost to repair your car, but you may also be able to pursue compensation for the loss of your car’s value.
The Silver Spring car accident lawyers at Goldberg Finnegan explain diminished value and how to file these types of claims. Learn more about your available legal options in a complimentary consultation.
Understanding Diminished Value
After a car is involved in a collision, it loses its market value. A car that is repaired is no longer in its original condition. Trying to sell the car can be difficult as many people will not pay the same amount for a car that has been wrecked versus a car without a history of accidents.
Diminished value is the difference between what the car was valued at before and after the accident. Some states, such as Maryland allow accident victims to pursue compensation for the diminished value of their car in addition to the costs for car repairs.
Evaluating a Diminished Value Claim
There is no specific formula to assess diminished value since it is different for every car. Diminished value can vary widely from one car to the next. The potential value of a claim will depend on multiple factors. Having someone independent appraise your car is one way to get an estimate for the loss in value of your car. An experienced lawyer from our firm is ready to help you gather supportive evidence and help you file a diminished value claim.
Factors That Affect the Value of a Car After a Collision
How much a collision devalues your car will depend on a few factors, such as:
Age of the Vehicle
Many insurance companies will not pay for the diminished value of a car that is over seven years old. Although older model cars are worth less than newer models, they are still worth something. Older cars are not always in bad condition and may have had their old parts substituted for new parts.
Prior History of Accidents
If your car has been previously damaged, it will be worth less. Insurance companies may not compensate you for this type of claim and may say that your car no longer has value.
Extent of Damages
If the accident was severe and the damage done to your car was serious, the value of your car will likely decline. Any noticeable flaws, especially as it relates to safety, will decrease the value significantly.
Quality of Repairs
Not all repairs are treated equally. If the repairs to your car were not properly done, the value would decrease. Even if the repairs were done well, the car would still lose value.
Deadline to File a Diminished Value Claim
In Maryland, the statute of limitations to file a diminished value claim is within three years from the date of the car accident. You will not be able to pursue compensation if you were at fault for the collision or if the damage to your car was done by something other than the accident.
Maryland is also one of a handful of states that allows you to claim diminished value against your uninsured motorist policy with your insurer if the at-fault party does not have insurance or you were the victim of a hit-and run-accident.
Learn More by Calling Our Firm
If you need help with your claim, contact our firm as soon as possible. We are here to review your situation and discuss your rights in a risk-free, no-obligation legal consultation. Should your claim have merit, we are prepared to help you negotiate a settlement for the diminished value of your car.
An initial consultation is completely free, and our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees. We only receive payment if we recover compensation on your behalf.